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Oil prices rise as Israel-Hamas ceasefire hopes dim, Saudi Arabia raises prices By Investing.com

© Reuters.

Investing.com — Oil prices rose on Monday after Saudi Arabia increased its official selling price for crude in June for most regions and media reports said that the latest round of ceasefire talks between Israeli and Hamas delegates had ended with no agreement being reached.

expiring in July gained 0.7% to $83.55 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures edged up by 0.8% to $78.38 per barrel by 09:16 ET (13:16 GMT).

Both contracts slid between 6.6% and 7.5% last week, their worst weekly performance since October.

The sharp losses from the prior week were fueled in part by the prospect of worsening demand, especially as the U.S. economy appeared to be slowing and interest rates were seen remaining higher for longer to combat stubborn inflationary pressures.

Softer-than-expected data on Friday added to these fears of weakening demand. Mitigating these losses, however, were renewed bets on a September rate cut by the Federal Reserve, which sparked heavy losses in the U.S. dollar. The decline in the greenback offered some relief to dollar-denominated crude prices. 

Elsewhere, the chances of an abatement in the war between Israel and Hamas now appear to be slim, with reports saying that weekend truce talks in Egypt hit an impasse. According to the reports, Hamas is demanding an end to the war in return for freeing Israeli hostages. But Israel has ruled out such an offer and has been warning that it is preparing to send troops into Rafah, a city in southern Gaza.

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Expectations of unrest in the Middle East, and possible disruptions to crude supplies out of the region, subsequently remained a key source of support for oil prices on Monday.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia announced that it would raise the official selling price for its crude to Northwest Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia in June, in a sign that one of the world’s largest oil-producing nations expects to see resilient demand during the summer. 

Ambar Warrick contributed to this report.

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